Water, water everywhere – but not a drop to drink? I think we can all agree that there’s nothing worse then getting a bit of a sore stomach when you’re off trying to enjoy a well-deserved holiday. Dodgy tap water can be a common culprit, but it can be hard to know where it’s actually safe to drink from the tap, and where it’s not. It’s common for us to drink from the tap at home after all! So, to help you on your travels, here’s a handy guide to countries where it’s safe to drink the tap water.
It’s fun writing about destinations, but sometimes it’s the practical information that can really save your bacon during a big adventure. And what could be more practical than water? It’s the substance that supports life after all – without it we’d be in a fairly sticky situation!
So, imagine – you’re chilling at your holiday apartment, soaking up a bit of sun on your balcony, enjoying a nice book or simply enjoying the views. After a while you’re going to start feeling a little thirsty at some point. But before you reach for your glass you’ve got to ask yourself “Is it safe to drink from the tap here?“. Hopefully with this little guide to countries with safe drinking water, you’ll be able to go off gallivanting around the world with complete peace of mind.
Water is a thing we all take for granted. For us it’s quite a common habit for us to just drink for the tap, and it’s the same for when we’re abroad most of the time as well. But you’ll notice that the taste of water can vary wildly where ever you are. Take the USA for example – sure, the water is safe. But when I was on a holiday to Las Vegas back in 2017, there was no denying the slight smell of chlorine coming from the water!
Basically, what gives water its taste is the subtle amounts of minerals in it. Depending on the natural formation of the ground beneath you, the water can taste quite pure, or it needs an extra bit of ‘help’ by being treated. Denmark is a good example – the ground has high amounts of chalk which acts like a natural filter. As the water trickles through the rock, extra nutrients are added and others are taken out. People say Denmark has some of the best water in the world – they’re certainly not wrong there!
In the USA’s case, water is usually treated with chemicals such as fluoride to help remove less beneficial nutrients that otherwise would have been filtered out by rock. That’s why tap water in America can kind of taste and smell like pool water. And since pool water isn’t really the most refreshing thing to drink, the usual course of action would be to buy bottled water instead.
It’s one thing that water might just taste a bit iffy. It’s another when the water is just not safe. Universal access to safe drinking water is unfortunately still a problem even today, and contaminated supplies can easily spread some nasty bugs.
Which countries can you drink from the tap?
It’s primarily European countries where tap water is drinkable. But there are also countries outside of Europe where tap water is also perfectly find to drink as well! In the following list of countries with safe tap water, you’ll be able to have a glass of tap water while minimising the risk of any dodgy stomachs, according to Just the Flight.
It’s worth noting that while the water is safe to drink in all of these countries, the taste of it still might vary quite a lot compared to what we drink at home. Las Vegas is a good example – it might not taste great, but it was still drinkable!
Personal experiences with safe drinking water?
As seasoned travellers I’d be curious to know about your experiences with tap water abroad, especially when you’re travelling far from home. If you have any useful tips, advice or even essential items to bring with you when dealing with dodgy tap water, then I’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments below. :)